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There's method in our magnets: understanding rTMS from models, mice and men

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Repetitive transcranial repetitive stimulation (rTMS) holds much promise as a therapy to promote recovery following neurotrauma and treat a range of neurological conditions. To deliver rTMS to the brain, a brief, high-current pulse is passed through a wire coil held above the scalp. This electric pulse ...

Repetitive transcranial repetitive stimulation (rTMS) holds much promise as a therapy to promote recovery following neurotrauma and treat a range of neurological conditions. To deliver rTMS to the brain, a brief, high-current pulse is passed through a wire coil held above the scalp. This electric pulse generates a magnetic field perpendicular to the coil, which readily passes through the scalp, skull and meninges to induce eddy currents in the underlying electrically conductive brain tissue.

Because rTMS was originally developed in human subjects, its effects have primarily been studied in the normal and pathological human brain without passing through a “bench to bedside” development. As a consequence the underlying therapeutic mechanisms and optimal stimulation parameters have not been identified in animal models and very little is known about what aspects of magnetic stimulation are the most important in delivering therapeutic benefits in different pathologies.

Recently there are an increasing number of animal studies on rTMS mechanisms. However, there is a lack of cohesion both between animal studies and certainly between animal and human studies. Thus, we believe that now is an ideal time to encourage a dialogue between human and animal rTMS researchers in order to promote significant advances in understanding what rTMS does to the brain at structural, functional and molecular levels in order to harness the clinical and experimental potential of rTMS to a wide range of neurological and psychiatric disorders.

We seek submissions from human and animal researchers, describing experiments in vivo and in vitro as well as computational and theoretical modelling studies. Submitted manuscripts can be any of the currently accepted article types (e.g. original articles, data reports, technology report, opinion pieces or mini-reviews). The editors encourage collaboration between human and animal researchers to co-author short general commentaries.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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